Any pressure placed on the spinal nerves as they branch off the spinal cord can cause compression. This often results in pain or numbness radiating into the arms or legs. This is sometimes called radicular pain and in the low back/leg may sometimes be called “sciatica.”
Nerve compression results in pain and other symptoms such as numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms or legs. The quality and type of pain can vary, from dull, aching and difficult to localize, to sharp and burning.
The first line of treatment for nerve compression is usually physical therapy, patient education and possibly medication. If these do not provide relief, injections are usually the next option. Surgery, such as discectomy or decompression, may be considered if severe pain persists. During these procedures, the tissue pressing on the nerves is removed. It is important to discuss treatment options for nerve compression with your doctor in deciding which treatment, if any, may be best for you.